Business activity growth fastest Published on 9th September 2013

Press and Journal

Scottish business activity is growing at the fastest rate ever seen. The Bank of Scotland's latest monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) highlights record activity levels and new work during August, and the sharpest rise in employment for six years.

The PMI is compiled from replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in around 600 manufacturing and service sector companies.

It registered at a survey-high record of 58.3 for August, up from July's reading of 56.7. Anything above 50 constitutes growth, 50 means no change and below 50 suggests economic contraction.

Service firms led the upturn, while increases in new business were attributed to marketing efforts and improved market confidence, according to panel member reports.

Meanwhile, manufacturers recorded the most marked rise in new export orders since May 2012.

The report says Scotland's job market continued to benefit from the strong performance in the private sector economy during August, with employment rising for the ninth consecutive month and to the greatest extent since June 2007.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: "The pace of the economic recovery in Scotland is clearly quickening but would be further enhance by firms increasing investment."

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